Cat spraying in the home is definitely unpleasant and is something that when it happens you want to put a stop too quickly.
This issue is probably the most common question I am asked. Unfortunately there is no one answer I can give. below I have outlined the most common causes and how to stop this unpleasant behaviour as soon as possible.
First Question To Answer
Is your cat ill?
Although most causes of a spraying in the home is behavioural there are times when it is caused by illness, such as urinary tract infections and anal gland blockages.
My advice is always to have your cat checked out first to rule out any possible underlying illness which may be the root of the problem.
You need to make sure that the cat urine and its odour is completely removed. Any reaming traces, even if they are not visible to the naked eye will be detected by your cat and encourage them to re-use that spot.
There are specialized cat urine removal cleaning solutions available, such as 'Get Serious! Pheromone Stain & Odor Extractor'. This type of cleaner is not only designed to clean the pet urine stains and odors, but also to remove the actual pheromone, which is the scent responsible for pets re-marking.
If you want to know more, I have dedicated a whole page to the subject of cat urine odour removal, which should provide you with all the ammunition you will need to combat this smelly problem!
Your cat may spray more often during periods of stress or change such as:
In most cases after a few days the cat gets used to the new situation and relaxes, the cat spraying should then stop.
However some cats need some extra help to relax and get over their period of anxiety which is causing the spraying.
In these cases you can use special products which mimic a natural pheromone that cats produce which they find very relaxing. 'Comfort Zone' contains Feliway which does this and it comes in a spray form or a diffuser.
5. Litter box retraining - If your cat normally uses a litter tray a period of retraining will help break the cat spraying habit in the home.
Of course the problem may not be cat spraying as much as the kitty urinating inappropriately within the house and not in the correct place i.e. the litter tray.
If this is the case, then a period of litter training will help. This is done by isolating your pet in a room with only its bed, a litter tray and water (the process is described in more detail on my cat litter training page).
This training method is designed to help your kitty relax again and get back into the habit of using the tray. This is not a punishment and your cat should still be cuddled and played with and fed in its usual place.
Always provide a clean litter tray in an area where your kitty can feel private. A quiet place in a safe area of the room is best and there should be a separate tray for every animal you have.
By understanding the reasons why your kitty may be spraying in the home and taking quick action, you will be able to put a stop to this smelly unpleasant behaviour and your cat can return to being a happy and contented pet once again and have a cleaner and more fragrant home!